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Bingo Hall Operators Face Theft Charges

7 January 2004

INDIANA – As reported by the Indianapolis Star: "Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi says the people who ran Carnine Little League's bingo hall gambled away more than $760,000 meant for charity.

"On Tuesday, Brizzi's office charged Thomas G. Smith, 60, and his daughter Christina F. Scott, 34, with corrupt business influence and three counts of theft. Each charge is a class C felony and carries a sentence of two to eight years in prison.

"Smith, the league's president, and his wife, Joan Smith, said Tuesday they never stole from the group, but keeping track of the hundreds of thousands that came in through the bingo parlor overwhelmed them.

"Scott, a secretary with no prior training in bookkeeping, said she was doing her best to balance the books but admits it was too much for her.

"…'I did some gambling, but I didn't do it on that money,' Thomas Smith said. 'It seems like they don't care to go into all the details.'

"…Prosecutors now say Smith and Scott stole $763,873 of the $1.9 million the league's bingo took in from 1999 to 2001…"

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